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Poster: Freddie Jaye Date: Jun 1, 2010 4:11pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

I'm with quigs. Try this the next time you're watching television: kill the audio completely.That's what silent films "sound" like.

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Poster: quigs Date: Jun 1, 2010 4:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Kinda slow, isn't it?

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Poster: quigs Date: Jun 1, 2010 4:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Here's another example, in 1936, Charles Chaplin released "Modern Times" a "silent film" . Sir Charles wrote the music for a silent film. Imagine the scene where the little tramp is going through the machinery of the factory; turn off the sound and it's a pretty dull film but with the music, it's one of the most hilarious sequences in it. Why? The music acts as an additional character of the scene-eliciting responses from the audience watching the film.

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Poster: B. Stockwell Date: Jun 4, 2010 9:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

I can't let this one slide by. Ahem! Silent films were never intended to be seen without music and original scores date back at LEAST to "The Birth of a Nation." (Score by Joseph Carl Breil.) The premieres of the REALLY big films typically used full orchestras. The scores would be reduced for smaller ensembles as the films hit smaller venues until, in the smallest venues, the score would be a reduction for sole pianist/organist. That's usually how it worked. Also, it was standard to have a musician or two playing music DURING the filming, to set the mood - usually a violinist. There wasn't any consistency in any of this, though. As others pointed out, early sound films didn't exploit the full potential of recorded music. And, yes, Max Steiner's score to "King Kong" is regarded as a seminal point in film music. It wasn't until the arrival of Erich W. Korngold in the mid 1930s that the wall-to-wall approach we're used to arrived. Note: Bernard Herrmann, Hitchcock's best regular composer, created an unsettling effect by NOT writing music for "The Birds." Creepy stuff, that.

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Poster: quigs Date: Jun 4, 2010 9:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Thank you B. Stockwell.

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Poster: B. Stockwell Date: Jun 4, 2010 10:00pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

My pleasure. A really, REALLY great book on silent film - easy to read for something so definitive - is Kevin Brownlow's "The Parades Gone by . . .". Brownlow is probably the single most important figure in why we even have these films to see. He triggered in interest in the field and is "Mr.Restoration." A BBC fixture, he also does work for Turner Movie Classics. Golly, it must be fun to be smart like that.

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Poster: quigs Date: Jun 4, 2010 10:21pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

So true; but then again we have like yourself and others who understand there are more to films \an just sitting on your duff and watching the finished product: without knowing the time, sweat, labor, and hard work that goes into making those images on the screen that flicker by so fast the human cannot comprehend the still images and accepts them as moving pictures. Thank you for research and understanding.

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Poster: B. Stockwell Date: Jun 4, 2010 9:16pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

I can't let this one slide by. Ahem! Silent films were never intended to be seen without music and original scores date back at LEAST to "The Birth of a Nation." (Score by Joseph Carl Breil.) The premieres of the REALLY big films typically used full orchestras. The scores would be reduced for smaller ensembles as the films hit smaller venues until, in the smallest venues, the score would be a reduction for sole pianist/organist. That's usually how it worked. Also, it was standard to have a musician or two playing music DURING the filming, to set the mood - usually a violinist. There wasn't any consistency in any of this, though. As others pointed out, early sound films didn't exploit the full potential of recorded music. And, yes, Max Steiner's score to "King Kong" is regarded as a seminal point in film music. It wasn't until the arrival of Erich W. Korngold in the mid 1930s that the wall-to-wall approach we're used to arrived. Note: Bernard Herrmann, Hitchcock's best regular composer, created an unsettling effect by NOT writing music for "The Birds." Creepy stuff, that.

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Jun 1, 2010 4:23pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Wrong. Television shows have spoken dialog; silent films do not. I'm surprised you never noticed that. (By the way, chimpanzees enjoy watching television.)

When I first watched The General, I didn't sit there moronically thinking "Where's the sound?" Realizing that the film was made without sound, I concentrated on the video, on the story. The silence was irrelevant and soon forgotten.

You may be one of those folks who cannot enjoy reading fiction, who have never read a novel in their lives. They need bells, whistles, and blinking lights to hold their attention.

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Poster: quigs Date: Jun 1, 2010 5:03pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Moongleam, Lord bless you. What TV show never had a them show? The Peter Gunn went off the air almost 50 some years,but who remembers the shows(except us old gessers in IA) the music of Henry Mancinie made that show and stil is bought and purchased today. The films of Gold Rush, The Kid, City lights, Modern Times all had music cound tracks.
The film Don Juan (John Barrymore) had not only a music Soundtracks but sound effects but no dialogue.
However, I will concide this point if films do not have music soundtrack do not go back and add one.
The early films of John Wayne (many are here in IA) only had a beginning and ending music interludes. In the 1990's, UCLA got hold of many old westerns including those mention and added a musical sytheisised score to it. It took away from the action and did not add to it; it rather distacted the viewer.

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Poster: Freddie Jaye Date: Jun 2, 2010 6:06am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Silent movies.

Moongleam, your sarcasm is most unwelcome. But I'll reply to you anyway, and in a civil manner.

The point you seem to be missing (or avoiding) is that Reservoir Dogs *had audible dialog* to propel the story along. I haven't seen it, so I can't address whether the lack of a score helped it or hindered it.

But silent films are just that--silent. That's why I suggested killing the TV sound: that would replicate the silent-film experience.

Your beloved Reservoir Dogs may have been incredibly suspenseful--but would it have been so with no audio at all? Would you have been able to folow on the story without the dialog? Probably not--the dialog enhances the experience. And so it is with silents and music scores.